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Wednesday Morning Bizarre News Headlines

DECEMBER ENGAGEMENTS

NEW YORK (AP) -- December, it turns out, is a pretty popular time to pop the question.

And it makes sense, when you think about it. Jake Nyberg of Minneapolis, who chose Christmastime to drop to one knee -- in a gorilla suit -- on ice skates -- points out that "it's a pretty time of year." And it's a time when people are around family members -- the ones they want to be with on a happy occasion.

A professional proposal planner in New York -- yes, there are people who do that for a living -- says she usually gets one or two inquiries a week from nervous grooms-to-be. But once Thanksgiving comes around, Sarah Pease says it's more like one or two a day -- with most guys looking to propose in December.

Not that there's anything wrong with the gorilla-on-ice-skates bit -- but she says you can't go wrong with the simple engagement-ring-under-the-tree.

BABYLESS STROLLER

AMBRIDGE, Pa. (AP) -- She had a baby stroller -- but no baby.

Police say a western Pennsylvania woman was using the stroller to try to steal more than 100 items worth a total of $529 dollars from a drug store.

They say she was using it like a shopping cart, filling some baby clothes in the stroller with stolen items at a Rite-Aid store.

A sleeve of a baby jacket was stuffed as if there was a baby inside -- but police say a can of soup fell out of the sleeve.

The acting police chief in Ambridge says when the woman was arrested, she gave her name as "Abracadabra."

He says he responded, "Well, my name is Hocus Pocus and you're going to jail."

MUSEUM OF CLEAN

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) -- Don Aslett is known as the Dean of Clean. He's the Sultan of Shine.

As a child, he would cringe at the site of spilled coffee grounds. In high school, he found it strange that his classmates didn't like to clean their rooms. He ended up founding a janitorial business with branches in the U.S.and Canada. He wrote dozens of books, all about cleaning.

At the age of 76, he still can't take a stroll without picking up litter from the sidewalk.

And now, he has a six-story shrine dedicated to his craft. It's the Museum of Clean, which recently opened to the public in southeastern Idaho.

There's a horse-drawn vacuum dating back to 1902, and his collection of several hundred pre-electric vacuum cleaners. There's an antique Amish footbath. And, you can see a 1,600-year-old bronze toothpick.

The gift shop has plush toys -- in the shape of germs.

It all cost $6 million to put together. And with admission just $5, Aslett will need a lot of visitors if he wants to clean up.

SUBWAY-CHRISTMAS CAROL

BOSTON (AP) -- A subway dispatcher in Boston seemed to be in big trouble, after he programmed an electronic message board in a station to scroll the lyrics of "Deck the Halls" on Christmas Day, instead of the normal service announcements.

Travelers got a chuckle out of it, but transit officials weren't amused.

But now it looks like he won't get the heave-ho-ho-ho.

The state's transportation secretary tells the Boston Globe that any punishment will be light -- perhaps just a reminder not to use the signs for anything other than their real purpose. Even on Christmas.

PACKERS-STOCK SALE

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The NFL owners club is no longer so exclusive.

Lots of people can call themselves owners, now that the Green Bay Packers have sold nearly 250,000 shares of stock in the team.

The Packers are going to offer 30,000 more shares. It's the NFL's only publicly-owned team.

The shares sell for $250 each, with a $25 handling fee. That means the team has raised about $62 million toward the $143 million expansion of Lambeau Field.

The shareholders get voting rights. And they can attend annual meetings, where they can meet team executives.

But there are no dividends, and the stock value won't go up.

And the new owners won't get to tell the coach what plays to call.
WEIGH AND WIN

DENVER (AP) -- It's a common New Year's resolution -- to shed some of those extra pounds that were packed on during the holidays.

And now, there's money in it -- for adults living in Colorado.

Insurance company Kaiser Permanente Colorado is offering cash to Coloradans who lose weight and keep it off. Participants can earn anywhere from $15 to $150 every three months.

Companies have been making offers lie this to their employees for years -- but this time it's a statewide effort.

A dozen kiosks with scales and a video camera to record progress are located throughout Colorado, at medical facilities, recreation centers, libraries and even a furniture store.

Copyright 2011. The Associated Press.


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